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The Odyssey (Radio Collection) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2004 Radio Collection
This is a BBC Radio 4 full-cast production of Homer's epic seafaring adventure, dramatised by award-winning poet Simon Armitage, and starring Tim McInnerny and Amanda Redman 'My fame is written in the heavens, and my fate too...' So speaks Odysseus as he starts to recount his struggles to sail home to Ithaca, in one of the greatest pieces of storytelling in Western literature. "The Odyssey" is his incredible traveller's tale - and also the story of his faithful wife, Penelope who waits for him, besieged by suitors, and their son, Telemachus who has a quest of his own. In a twenty-year journey, fabulous fantasy mixes with extraordinary reality as Odysseus encounters enchantresses, nymphs, monsters, prophets and ghosts. From the temptations of the lotus flowers and the Sirens' song to the horrors of the Cyclops' cave and the Land of the Dead, the story of his encounters is riveting. We hear of Circe, who turned his men into swine; Calypso, who held Odysseus prisoner for seven years; and the dreadful six-headed monster Scylla who devoured some of his crew. And we hear of the Gods, who have a vital role to play...Dramatised by major contemporary poet Simon Armitage to celebrate the return of the Olympics to Athens, this full-cast production brings Odysseus's adventures to vivid life, conveying all the excitement, suspense and poetry of the original. A stunning aural rollercoaster ride, "The Odyssey" will have your heart in your mouth and stir your soul.

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 3 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (6 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563525495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563525493
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 12 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


... As irresistable as gravity ... a production so thrilling that it rapidly becomes unthinkable to press the stop - or even the pause - button -- Independent on Sunday, December 12, 2004

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This may be the best audio book you ever buy! 11 Sep 2004
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Before the Radio 4 broadcast on August Bank Holiday 2004 I had never heard or read The Odyssey. This rendition was truly compelling: a perfect combination of words, music, sound effects and a wonderful cast made buying this CD a no-brainer. Shut your eyes (but not if you're driving!) and the pictures are wonderful too. I will be listening to this again and again.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 6 Feb 2005
The other reviewer of this audio CD is right -- this is magnificent. Tim McInerney is superb as Odysseus -- he sounds extraordinarily heroic, which could have been a problem for the actor, given the risk of being typecast in 'Blackadder' or 'Notting Hill-type roles.
But what has opened my eyes -- or, I suppose, my ears -- is the literature of Homer. This stuff was written around 800 BC, i.e. more than 2,000 years before Shakespeare. Not being familiar with Homer's structure, I was worried that the adaptation starting on Calypso's island would mean that all the earlier adventures -- e.g. the Cyclops and Circe -- had been cut by the BBC. But then Odysseus is met by Nausicaa and has to tell the tale of his adventures at supper that night. This flashback mode enables the full drama to be awakened. Out of curiosity, I browsed through a cheap translation of Homer to see how the story was actually structured. I was amazed to see that Homer himself had used the flashback device. There is the odd little glitch in that Odysseus is somehow able to report the conversations of his shipmates made while he was asleep, but we'll forgive literature that is 2,800 years old the occasional gaff.
There is some low-level earthy language, usually concerned with bodily functions, but this is a CD you can safely play to your children say, on a long car journey. It's probably best savoured in 40-minute chunks, as even the greatest books can become wearing if you try to digest one totally in a single sitting.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific dramatisation of an ancient epic 22 Jun 2005
Odysseus left home with only the intention of helping the thrash Troy, then return victorious and glorious. But for 20 years he got caught up in the wrath of the gods, the malice of monsters and all the inclement weather the Med could muster. His sailors were ungrateful and disloyal and squandered all the good luck and help they received along the way. Without the help of Athena, brave Odysseus would have perished. It's a fantastic (in every sense) story and very enjoyable. Anyone who believes the 'classics' are dry old heirlooms, boring and incomprehensible, fit only to gather dust in stuffy old libraries, occasionally to be pawed over by equally dry and stuffy old scholars (or used to torment GCSE students), should listen to this excellent dramatisation and change their minds. Translated into modern English and performed by first-rate actors, it's as exciting as any modern adventure story and as moving as any modern romance. I thank the previous two reviewers whose enthusiastic reviews persuaded my to click the "add to shopping basket" button.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic tale brilliantly told 14 Feb 2010
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A different ear must be used when listening to this dramatisation.

Classic Greek tales are works of poetry as well as prose. This interpretation is masterful and keenly dramatic performed excellently by the fully professional cast.

A long but engaging production necessary grips the listener and, to the best of my remembrance, holds faithfully to the original.

Highly recommended.
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